Preservation of Industrial Land for Employment


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Preservation of Industrial Land for Employment

  1. 1. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 2009An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Wali Memon Land Use Studies Page 0
  2. 2. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies: Do Theory and History Make Better Practice? Abstract Industrial land, industrial location and their effect on urban form have been the subject of considerable study over the past century. The location and character industry have redefined many urban landscapes and labor markets, and have shaped Wali Memon the foundations and practice of planning. The effect of industrial location on urban form remains profound. Over the past decade, an increasing number of cities and counties have undertaken detailed industrial land use (ILU) studies. These studies recognize the vital role of industrial land in the urban system. They also note the rapid loss of prime industrial land to residential and mixed use development, especially in rapidly growing cities like San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Washington DC. These studies find that if prime industrial land is not protected, marginal demand for residential and mixed use development can crowd out industrial uses, negatively affecting all users. This paper reviews the methods, issues, findings and recommendations of over 20 industrial land use studies from cities and counties across the U.S. From these a composite framework for future ILU studies is proposed. This research also finds that most ILU studies are largely disconnected from the rich body of industrial location theory and history that is critical to an informed interpretation of methods, findings and recommendations. Given the increasing practice of online Page 1
  3. 3. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 publishing of planning documents, this paper argues that planners face an emerging opportunity and responsibility to engage non-planners through such documents. One of the implications of this trend is that topical studies like the ones reviewed herein must establish a basic theoretical and historical context that allows non-planners to interpret the studies in an appropriate Wali Memon Page 2
  4. 4. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Introduction Industrial land, industrial location and their effect on urban form have been the subject of considerable study over the past century. The oppressive density and poor conditions of worker housing near many factories in the early part of the 20th century led in part to the first zoning and building codes. From Alfred Weber’s 1929 Theory of the Location of Industries, through the work of William Alonso, Edwin Mills in many others, theories of industrial location and urban form have flourished. In practical terms, the effects of industrial operations on surrounding formed the core of the environmental movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Under the Wali Memon U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, also known as “superfund”), and the brownfields movement that followed, communities have begun the slow process of overcoming the legacy of industrial pollution. With stronger environmental regulations in place and more sophisticated understandings of land use, communities are beginning to move away from the rigid separation of uses. Mixed use is becoming a staple in planning practice. The nature of industry is changing as well. The global dispersion of industry since the 1970’s has redefined many urban landscapes and labor markets. Combined with the rise of the service and information economy in the U.S., the effect of industrial location on urban form remains profound. With such sweeping changes in planning perspectives and the nature of industry, the question of whether industrial location theory and the history of industrial development are still relevant to the practice of planning is a valid one. Page 3
  5. 5. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Over the past decade, an increasing number of cities and counties have undertaken detailed industrial land use studies. In some of the earlier studies much of the focus was on the development of land use and economic development strategies to attract and retain industry where possible and redevelop industrial brownfields for other uses where industrial uses no longer made sense. Increasingly, however, the studies began to recognize the vital interaction between industrial uses and other uses in a healthy urban economy. They also began to note the rapid loss of prime land to residential and mixed use development, especially in rapidly growing cities Wali Memon like San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Washington DC1. Individually and collectively, these studies have made a sound case for the preservation and protection of prime industrial land from residential and mixed use development. The imperative for protecting industrial land rests on three primary findings. First, industrial businesses provide crucial support to mixed use and residential areas. Second, close proximity is important to the provision of that support. Third, industrial uses are highly sensitive to rent levels. Without protection, marginal demand for residential and mixed use development can crowd out industrial uses, negatively affecting all users in the long run. 1 Throughout this document, industrial land use studies are referred to by city, with full citations of all industrial land use studies grouped together in the bibliography. This convention is adopted to facilitate better flow and easier reading. Page 4
  6. 6. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 This paper’s original intent was simply to review the growing collection of industrial land use (ILU) studies and draw out common issues, methods, findings and recommendations. However, in reviewing the studies it became increasingly clear that virtually all of the studies were completely disconnected from the theoretical foundations of industrial location and the rich history of industrial development. Admittedly, all of the studies were undertaken as part of the practice of planning, not as academic research. Nevertheless, such studies are published with the intent of informing and influencing policy makers. The growing use of publishing makes these documents widely available to the general public as well. Wali Memon Thus while such topical studies are intended to address specific issues related to planning practice, the unique characteristics of the web as a publication medium presents both the opportunity and the responsibility to create documents targeted to a wider audience. Grounding such studies in relevant theory and history provides the foundation and context for non-planners to understand the substantive information provided and the rationale behind the conclusions. In so doing, practicing planners may also clarify their own approach and realize insights that are often lost to the daily concerns of planning practice. Theory and history matter because they establish the context and framework for focused inquiry, insightful analysis, and effective communication. Organization of the Literature With these observations in mind, this paper begins with a very brief overview of the theoretical and historical foundations of industrial location and urban form, with Page 5
  7. 7. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 particular attention to deindustrialization. This section is not a substantive review, but is intended rather to frame the review of the ILU studies in a theoretical context. The review of a sample of over 20 industrial land use studies follows. The variety of approaches taken in studying industrial land use among the published studies is considerable. While some issues appear more frequently than others, no common framework or approach to the study of industrial land was discernable. This paper develops a loose, composite framework based on a comprehensive review of multiple ILU studies. Some studies, notably San Francisco and Washington DC exemplary in their comprehensive approach and have considerable influence on this Wali Memon composite framework. Other studies were exemplary in specific areas. What emerges when all of the studies are considered together is the beginning of a normative approach to the study of industrial land at the metropolitan, county and municipal levels. Based on this composite framework, the review of ILU studies is organized in three parts. Part 1 reviews the characteristics and methodologies of ILU studies, covering such issues as purpose, scope, data analysis, business surveys and land use modeling. Part 2 reviews the uses and important characteristics of industrial land; using both the empirical land use studies and theoretical literature where appropriate. Drawing from multiple sources, a composite set of industrial land conversion / preservation evaluation criteria is presented. Part 3 covers the findings and recommendations of the ILU studies, aggregating individual study findings into a broad composite view. The composite set of issues and findings Page 6
  8. 8. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 follows four themes: (1) the role of industrial land in the total land use system; (2) changes affecting the demand for industrial land; (3) management of industrial land supply; (4) comprehensive planning and zoning issues. Recommendations are divided into two groups: (1) area-wide policy and planning recommendations; and (2) targeted area recommendations. Theoretical and Historical Foundations Neither industrial land use studies nor the study of industrial location are new. appropriate location of industry, its role in shaping urban form, and its relationship Wali Memon to other land uses has a rich theoretical and empirical foundation. A brief review of that foundation provides an appropriate frame of reference from which to approach the ILU studies. Theoretical Underpinnings Mainstream theories of urban form and industrial location are generally divided into two groups. Descriptive or “historical” theories comprise the first group and include concentric rings (Park & Burgess, 1926); sectors (Hoyt, 1939); and multi-nucleated zones (Harris & Ullman, 1945). In general, these theories are concerned with describing urban form in terms of the spatial organization of different land uses. Structural theories define the second group and generally flow out of economic traditions and include the work of Weber (1929); Haig (1926); Alonso (1964a); Muth (1969); and Mills (1972). These theories tend to be demand-oriented. They approach industrial location as an optimization problem, and urban form as the Page 7
  9. 9. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 equilibrium result of market forces. Each group of theories has its strengths and weaknesses, and although they are often viewed as competing approaches, they need not be. In fact, William Alonso considered his theory and those in what he called the “historical” tradition to be complementary, not competing. (Alonso, 1964b) Together or separately, these two theoretical traditions form the foundation of the modern approach to urban form and industrial location. The mainstream theories are not without critics. Historical models are criticized their failure to consider the role of demand in shaping urban form. (Alonso, 1964b) Wali Memon Structural models are criticized for overly limiting assumptions about transportation and market locations, and their inability to account for the obvious heterogeneity of manufacturing and industrial land uses. (Pred, 1964; Groves, 1971) Critics also argue that the development of a theoretical framework for understanding urban form and industrial location requires an examination of the particulars of history. (Pred, 1964; Groves, 1971; Walker and Lewis, 2004) They suggest that such a framework should include historical consideration of geographical industrialization, land development, metropolitan politics and planning. Industrial History Industrial history provides a useful context within which to evaluate the industrial land use studies. It provides a lens through which we can examine the extent to which mainstream theories of urban form and industrial location explain observed Page 8
  10. 10. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 conditions. Industrial history offers a longitudinal view, while the ILU studies generally represent a cross-sectional view. Regardless of the spatial economic model that is applicable to any particular industrial location, firms occupy facilities that respond to their business needs and opportunities. Each firm must balance its needs, opportunities and internal resources with the endowments and constraints present at any particular location. There is evidence that once manufacturing moved beyond the scale of craft cottage industries, firms sought peripheral locations and tended to cluster in Wali Memon districts. (Groves, 1971; Lewis, 2004) This clustering was often due to the presence of transportation infrastructure (roads, rails or waterways); power (water, steam, high voltage electrical distribution); or the presence of natural resources necessary for production (water, coal, iron, etc.). (Lewis, 2004; Muller and Groves, 2004; Ruchelman, 2007) The evidence also suggests however that firms sought to locate at a moderate distance from established concentrations of labor due to concerns of labor unrest. The new industrial districts also began to specialize by industry, type of product, organization of production and labor force in addition to their rail orientation and use of steam power. These new industrial districts were extensions of the antecedent commercial city, existing simultaneously with the older urban patterns and forms. Rather than displacing older industry the new industries contributed to the local economy, enhancing the existing artisan businesses. Housing and neighborhoods for both Page 9
  11. 11. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 managers and workers soon developed around the new industrial districts. These initial industrial districts had a profound effect on the location of future waves of industrial suburbanization. Although once suburbs themselves, the early industrial districts and the neighborhoods that grew up around them gradually came to be viewed as part of the central city (Walker and Lewis, 2004). Deindustrialization For the most part, the process of industrial suburbanization represented metropolitan growth up until the 1970’s. The historical accounts of industrial Wali Memon suburbanization and metropolitan growth generally agree on this point. (Lewis, 2004, Hayter, 1997, Chapman, 1987, Ruchelman, 2007) Hayter points out that recessions in the 1950’s and 1960’s were generally associated with temporary job losses, and that employment typically bounced back when economic conditions improved. However beginning in the 1970’s manufacturing job losses were increasingly structural. These job losses fed the process of decline or de- industrialization according to Myrdal’s model of cumulative causation in reverse, where losses in one industry translate into reductions in jobs and sales in linked and ancillary industries. As the process gains momentum, access to capital contracts, diminishing innovation and plant modernization. If the cycle is not broken firms tend to continue on a conservative course towards rationalization and plant closure. (Hayter, 1997; Chapman, 1987) Page 10
  12. 12. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Several characteristics of de-industrialization have implications for future patterns of industrial land use. The first is that de-industrialization and its secondary effects are ubiquitous among older industrialized cities and metropolitan regions. (Kivell, 1993) Second, de-industrialization was unanticipated, and is not predicted by existing industrial location theories.2 (Hayter, 1997) Third, while previous waves of industrial suburbanization coexisted with the antecedent patterns of urban form, the cumulative effect of industrial expansion beginning in the 1970’s was the decline and abandonment of older industrial areas. Exacerbating this shift was the fact the rate at which industrial land was falling into disuse began exceeding the city’s Wali Memon capacity to absorb it into reuse. (Lewis, 2004, Kivell, 1993, Hayter, 1997, Alonso, 1964b) Fourth, the process of de-industrialization is geographically uneven. In many respects the fragmented industrial districts and neighborhoods left behind are less amenable to reuse or rejuvenation because they contain a mix of abandoned properties, weakened but still functioning businesses and poor households. 2 Although it does not address deindustrialization directly, there is a stark prediction regarding urban renewal. In a 1964 article entitled The Historic and Structural Theories of Urban Form: Their Implications for Urban Renewal, William Alonso suggested that the federal Urban Renewal program was implicitly based on the older historic theory of urban form, and that it did not consider the structural aspects of urban form that were part of his theory. Alonso hypothesized that there was a significant risk that urban renewal would fail “through a lack of understanding of the urban system and a misinterpretation of the structure of demand.” Alonso went on to predict the following: “If the historical theory by itself is correct, current renewal procedures stand a good chance of success. But if it needs the complement of the structural theory, current renewal projects are skimming a narrow and specialized sector of demand which will soon dry up. In many cities stand acres of cleared land awaiting development and investors face time lags of years from the inception to the completion of development. The reaction-time of the urban renewal process is too slow to permit a purely pragmatic approach. Vacant land and vacant buildings are frightening possibilities.” In the years that followed, Alonso’s predictions rang true for the most part. Yet, by the 1990’s and increasingly since then, major cities in rapidly growing regions have seen a resurgence of housing demand from more affluent households. Moreover this demand has, in recent years, led to the conversion of vacant industrial land and in some cases to the displacement of industrial firms and jobs in many cities. Page 11
  13. 13. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 One Important Gap in the Literature Different aspects of the literature discuss either the patterns of industrial suburbanization over time or the effects of de-industrialization. A gap exists at the intersection of these two topics and in the interpretation of de-industrialization in terms of historical land use patterns. When the pattern of industrial suburbanization first evolved, municipal planning and land use controls did not exist. Industrial location was effectively market driven. This market driven pattern informed emerging comprehensive plans and municipal zoning. Thus, the stock of industrial zoned land accommodates industrial suburbanization and Wali Memon anticipates its continuation. The implications of de-industrialization, however, suggest that at least some aspects of this model are no longer applicable to older industrialized regions. The resulting situation, therefore, is one in which industrial land choices are constrained on the one hand by land use regulations based on the old model, and on the other hand by industrial land that is handicapped by the legacy of old industrial development. Whether negative effects of de- industrialization may be further exacerbated by municipal land use plans and regulations remains an open question. Review of Industrial Land Use Studies The Characteristics and Methodology of Industrial Land Use Studies Over the past decade several major U.S. cities and rapidly growing metropolitan counties have completed industrial land use studies, and many have arrived at Page 12
  14. 14. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 similar conclusions and similar recommendations. Many of these studies were undertaken in response to increasing pressure to rezone large tracts of industrial land to office, mixed use and residential uses. The following sections in part 1 review the procedural aspects of these studies. As complete documents, the character of the studies in the sample varied substantially, from a planning staff memo seeking guidance from city council in Oakland, to a series of related documents addressing various aspects of land in San Francisco. However, certain characteristics cut across many of the Wali Memon studies. Purpose, Timing, Scope and Innovation The stated purpose of the studies in the sample generally fell into two broad categories. Most of the studies in the sample were responding to increasing demand for industrial land from other uses (encroachment.) This purpose was stated in the majority of large and mid-sized cities as well as smaller towns and metropolitan counties. (e.g. San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, San Jose, Oakland, Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Diego, Richmond, CA, Milpitas, CA, Santa Clara County (CA), NAPA County (CA), Lee County (FL), Arlington County (VA), Prince George’s County (MD)) However, several cities with a history of heavy industrial uses faced much weaker demand for industrial land. For example, Chicago and Baltimore prepared industrial land use studies that were part land use analysis and part economic development strategy. These studies tended to focus on the Page 13
  15. 15. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 prospects and barriers to redevelopment, while those faced with encroachment tended to focus on the rationale for preserving core industrial areas while accommodating residential and commercial growth. From a timing perspective, the Chicago and Baltimore studies were relatively early studies (2004 and 2003, respectively.) Most (76%) of the other studies in the sample were completed after 2005. A core group of studies took an explicitly comprehensive approach to the study industrial land. This group integrated – or at least provided connections to – other Wali Memon types of land use and multiple comprehensive (or general) plan elements (for example San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Oakland, San Diego). The remainder of the studies took a much more focused or targeted approach. They connected to economic development strategies of comprehensive plans in general, but those connections were either implicit or very limited in scope. Not surprisingly, those studies that were explicitly comprehensive in nature also tend to be the most innovative. San Francisco has led the way in re-conceptualizing industrial land uses as PDR – Production, Distribution and Repair. This was intended to help both elected officials and the public see how industrial land is an important and integral part of the total land use system. This re-conceptualization has been accompanied by a host of innovative approaches linking industrial uses and industrial land both spatially and categorically. San Francisco also made significant connections between PDR uses and the healthy functioning of non-PDR industries, and created guidelines for physical development of different types. Page 14
  16. 16. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Washington DC extended and improved the conceptualization of PDR, and added a number of refinements to concepts developed by San Francisco and San Diego. The incremental nature of the innovations in the Washington DC study does not diminish their utility. Rather, it moves several new ideas much closer to widespread application. For its part, San Diego developed a new framework and a set of criteria for evaluating potential industrial land use These three cities, along with Seattle and Boston have introduced a variety of Wali Memon methodological innovations that will be discussed in the next section. Some cities, while not being among the core innovators, are nonetheless exemplars in very specific areas. For example, Baltimore deals with the ubiquitous issue of brownfield redevelopment directly, where most other studies sidestep the issue. Richmond, CA makes a clear connection between their industrial land and the emergence of so- called “green” industries that is unique among the studies but which is widely applicable. These unique contributions are incorporated into a composite framework for industrial land use studies at the end of this paper. Methodology A wide variety of methodologies were used among the ILU studies in the sample. Nearly all included some form of data analysis. These analyses addressed three broad areas. The first type of analysis considers the supply, demand, location and physical characteristics of industrial land. The second type of analysis examines the Page 15
  17. 17. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 characteristics and spatial organization of different types of industrial land users. The third type of analysis evaluates the employment impacts of industrial land and the effects of different industrial land policy options on current and future employment. In terms of the physical, spatial and market characteristics of industrial land most of the studies included some quantitative and qualitative analysis, although the focus and sophistication of the analyses varied substantially across the sample. land inventories and calculations of future demand for industrial land were common Wali Memon (e.g. San Francisco, Milpitas CA, and Washington DC). Some studies quantified the amount of industrial land lost to other uses or the number of acres with pending rezoning requests (e.g. Richmond, CA). Boston took a unique approach using Floor Area Ratios (FAR’s) to quantify the amount and location of open or underutilized industrial land. Several cities have also looked at the spatial organization of industrial land in relation to other uses (e.g. Seattle, Chicago, and Washington DC). Evaluation of the physical characteristics of industrial sites and districts was less common, but several cities including Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington DC included such analyses. Prince George’s County, MD was unique in that it had undertaken two previous industrial land use studies in 1975 and 1984 which laid the foundation for a longitudinal view of industrial zoning and land use. This perspective allowed planners to visualize the influence of perceptions as drivers for topical studies such Page 16
  18. 18. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 as industrial land use, as well as the affects of policies arising from those studies. As shown in figure 1, county planners were faced with a perceived shortage of industrial land leading up to the 1975 study. That study resulted in the significant rezoning of land into industrial uses. However, as the graphical analysis shows, the perceived shortage and the formula-driven rezoning were responding to an industrial development “bubble” in the early 70’s leading up to the first study, and a subsequent correction between the first and second studies. With the exception of these two periods, the absorption of industrial land demonstrates a linear trend over the 50 – year period. The study used additional variations of the Wali Memon graph in figure 2 to model future rezoning scenarios. While this graphical analysis is presented as an innovative and useful method, the results of the longitudinal analysis offer planners a cautionary example of what happens when even well intentioned policy responds too much to short-run conditions. [figure 1 about here] Demand for industrial land comes from several sources. The second type of analysis breaks down the demand generated by industrial uses and evaluates issues of compatibility between industrial and non-industrial uses. Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC are representative of this type of analysis. Seattle was especially effective in identifying industrial land characteristics valued by businesses. San Francisco and Washington DC provide spatial mapping of industrial clusters. Chicago’s industrial corridors and Boston’s backstreets address the need Page 17
  19. 19. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 for a fine grained approach to balancing separation and proximity of industrial uses and residential / mixed uses. San Diego and San Jose are examples of how cities are using evaluation criteria3 to determine where industrial land should be protected and where conversion should be allowed. Prince George’s County, MD used a wide range of criteria4 to categorize industrial areas, identifying areas with little or no demand; areas with use conflicts and pressures for land use succession; and those industrial areas that were economically The third type of analysis undertaken in the studies focuses on the relationship Wali Memon between employment and industrial land use. This type of analysis typically highlights the observation that industrial jobs typically pay higher wages for relatively lower skilled workers. The ILU studies that developed this type of analysis also focused on the notion that industrial workers also tended to be local residents. Taking a slightly different approach, Prince George’s County, MD compared the level of PDR employment (jobs) with the acreage of industrial land in each of its five “demand” categories (described in the preceding paragraph). While the idea that “low demand areas” should have low employment is intuitively obvious, the level of consistency between the two helped validate the classification of industrial areas within the five demand categories. In addition to data analysis, three other methods were common to several of the studies. Many of the ILU studies mentioned methods and findings in other cities, 3 See table 1. 4 Ibid. Page 18
  20. 20. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 and several presented detailed surveys and case studies from a range of comparable cities (e.g. Minneapolis, Seattle). Among the cities most often cited in these surveys were San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Portland OR. A few studies – Seattle in particular – presented the results of a detailed survey of industrial businesses. San Francisco was unique in the inclusion of the results of exit interviews - that is interviews with industrial firms that had moved out of the city. Prince George’s County, MD interviewed business owners, real estate brokers and developers active in the region, and included comparative information from other counties within the Washington DC metro area (Montgomery County, MD and Wali Memon Fairfax County, VA). Seattle and San Francisco were also among the cities that presented the results of charrettes and other participative planning events focused on industrial districts. A small number of studies also included detailed descriptions of the city’s history and underlying geography / geology. The rigor and transparency of research methods varied significantly among the studies and those cities and counties mentioned more frequently as examples (i.e. San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC, Prince George’s County, MD) tended to be more rigorous and more transparent in their methods. In the case of San Francisco, for example, this commitment translates into a more sophisticated and integrated approach to industrial land as part of a comprehensive land use and economic development system. In Seattle it translates into neighborhood plans with broader acceptance and greater credibility. In Prince George’s County MD, the triangulation between the longitudinal graphic analysis, employment analysis and Page 19
  21. 21. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 market criteria analysis adds significant credibility to the classification of industrial areas by demand category. Industrial Land: Uses and Characteristics The industrial land use studies in the sample typically presented three types of information. The first type was descriptive, providing details about the uses and characteristics of industrial land. The second type was interpretive, which conveyed the findings and conclusions. The third type was prescriptive, offering recommendations based on the conclusions and known political objectives. This Wali Memon section will address the first type – descriptive information about the uses and characteristics of industrial land. The next section will cover the other two types. Industrial Land Uses Industrial land uses have traditionally included manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and distribution, and utilities. In most places manufacturing is further divided into heavy and light. Special industrial districts typically drew their identity from unique transportation features like ports and rail yards. A variety of municipal uses, for example those related to waste management and municipal transportation, also require industrial land. Washington DC was specific in requiring municipal uses to conform to the same zoning requirements as other industrial uses. Page 20
  22. 22. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 For the most part industrial land uses have always been incompatible with residential and commercial uses. It was this incompatibility that led to zoning in the first place. The environmental movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, and the emergence of federal environmental regulations drew this basic incompatibility in stark relief. With the economic shift to services and increasing density of development came increasing conflict and the emergence of localized anti-industrial sentiment. Many residents and service workers did not view the displacement of industry as a bad thing. However, as industries were lost and as planners began to approach land at a finer grain, the recognition that many industrial land uses were integral to daily Wali Memon life became apparent. In some cases, that connection was mostly about jobs. San Diego and San Jose, for example, began referring to their industrial land as “employment lands.” In Boston, there was a recognition that main street commercial businesses depended on “backstreet” industrial businesses for important services and that proximity was important. This gave rise to Boston’s “Backstreets” program. In typical fashion, San Francisco redefined industrial land use as Production, Distribution and Repair, or PDR. Washington DC, Seattle and Prince George’s County, MD have adopted the PDR approach, adding several refinements. The renaming and indeed redefinition of industrial land use serves three important purposes. First, it sidesteps the visceral, reflexive reaction that many people have to the term “industrial.” Second, it emphasizes the connections between industrial land uses and the overall system of Page 21
  23. 23. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 land uses. With very few exceptions, every place needs some industrial land uses.5 Third, these approaches are amenable to smaller scales and a more fine-grained planning approach that is more contextual and integrative. In addition to PDR and the more traditional uses of industrial land there is an emerging land use that frequently seeks industrial land. Research and Development uses, like flex-industrial uses, vary widely in terms of what they do. In some cases and some industries they are intensely industrial. In others, they are office with minimal lab or production space. Because the composition of R&D varies Wali Memon so widely, its inclusion as an industrial use is controversial. Furthermore, because R&D users are often well capitalized and require high levels of finish in their facilities, such uses tend to crowd out more traditional industrial uses when allowed in industrial districts. No clear consensus exists as to whether R&D is a legitimate industrial use or whether it should be considered a unique category. Important Characteristics of Industrial Land Given the wide variety of industrial land uses there are few characteristics that are truly universal. Still, certain characteristics tend to cut across multiple industries. While not universal, they are certainly prevalent. The full range of industrial land characteristics is extensive and economic development organizations like the International Economic Development Council and Development Alliance have 5 Arlington County, VA may be a viable exception. This tiny county essentially encompasses the city of Arlington and is contained entirely within Fairfax County. While Arlington County has several small PDR businesses, their density, intensity of development and demographic distribution makes conversion of their remaining industrial land a potentially viable option. Page 22
  24. 24. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 attempted to standardize a list and format to make site selection easier and more consistent across multiple locations6. From the planning perspective, the understanding of what industrial users require and value in industrial land has most often come from surveys. Several cities have undertaken such surveys; however the best example is clearly Seattle. Based on these surveys, the following key characteristics have consistently emerged. • Accessibility to customers, suppliers, workers and road networks were primary concerns. Access to ports, rail and transit were secondary highly dependent on location and industry. Wali Memon • Affordability was consistently among the top criteria. Traditional industrial users are highly sensitive to rent levels and are therefore vulnerable to displacement if not protected. • Clustering of similar industries and their supplier networks is a common occurrence in industrial districts. This is consistent with agglomeration affects discussed in the theoretical literature. • Compatibility (or the lack of it) with non-industrial users was often cited as an issue and a reason why industrial users preferred exclusive industrial districts. • Site and building characteristics were also important. Industrial users often need open yards for storage and material handling. Buildings with large bays and high ceilings were also desirable. 6 Page 23
  25. 25. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Many other characteristics were cited with less frequency. The studies varied widely in the extent to which they addressed the characteristics of industrial land. San Diego was specific in the use of such characteristics as evaluation criteria for industrial land preservation or conversion. These criteria were adopted or referenced in several other studies. Evaluating Industrial Land: Preservation / Conversion Criteria While San Diego was clearly the leader in developing criteria and a methodology evaluating industrial land, many of the studies have made valuable contributions. Wali Memon Table 1 provides a brief summary of the criteria and a partial list of source contributors. [table 1 about here] Industrial Land Use Studies: Findings and Recommendations Collectively, the industrial land use studies in the sample identified several issues and offered a range of planning options to address specific problems. The issues identified may be classified as either market issues related to the demand and supply of industrial land, or planning issues related to the process of regulating industrial land in the overall land use system. While the analysis of these issues is Page 24
  26. 26. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 important in its own right, the ILU studies also applied these findings to the development of options to improve planning and regulation of industrial land in the future. The proposed options tended to focus on either area-wide land use policies or on targeted area planning strategies. This section will discuss the issues and options from the broader perspective, connecting them with existing theory where appropriate. Issues and The ILU studies identified two broad sets of issues. The first set consisted of issues Wali Memon related to the market for industrial land. On the demand side, many of the studies were driven by pressure to rezone industrial land for other non-industrial uses. This raises a number of questions about both industrial and non-industrial users. On the supply side, the studies focused on the spatial, physical and economic characteristics of industrial land. In general, the studies sought to determine both appropriate amounts and appropriate locations for industrial land now and in the future. The second set of issues was more specifically related to physical planning, although planning and zoning are themselves interventions in the land market. Often beginning with the stated purpose for their ILU studies, planners focused directly and indirectly on some broad questions. Why is it important to understand industrial land in some detail? Why should industrial land be protected? Under what conditions may industrial land be converted to other uses? How much Page 25
  27. 27. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 industrial land should be kept? Where, and in what configuration? How is it integrated with other land uses? What is the process for protecting or converting industrial land? The interplay between market issues and planning issues is significant. Much of the theoretical foundation of industrial location and urban form outlined earlier in this paper assumes that land use decisions are made by a free market. However as the ILU studies illustrate, zoning constrains the choices available to the market. In cases where land use change is allowed it comes at a cost of both money and time, Wali Memon and often with great uncertainty. In economic terms, zoning also adds considerable friction to the market for certain types of development where land use change is required. The factors affecting the demand for industrial land are largely related to industrial restructuring. This restructuring encompasses changes in the structure, function and location of PDR industries, as well as the growth of office-based service industries and various types of R&D industries. Production - based industrial restructuring dates back to at least the 1950s and includes waves of industrial suburbanization, intra-national regional shifts, and globalization. Accompanying these geographic shifts have been dramatic changes in firm structure such that the various functions that were once co-located in a single facility are now dispersed globally based primarily on workforce and market considerations. Management, Page 26
  28. 28. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 administration, and support services associated with many production firms now tend to cluster in central cities along with office-based service firms. The onset of the restructuring of PDR industries slightly predated the growth of service industries. Both the extent and pace of PDR restructuring led to the creation of high levels of industrial vacancy in older urban areas as the supply of available industrial property outstripped the market’s capacity to absorb it. This was further exacerbated by industrial and environmental legacy issues. Whereas the industrial sites resulting from early waves of industrial suburbanization had been Wali Memon absorbed by artisan and cottage industries within a reasonable timeframe, this does not appear to have been the case with the industrial restructuring in the last half of the 20th century. One question is whether the industrial succession observed in previous waves has not happened, or whether it has simply been obscured by the current oversupply of industrial land. Some evidence from the ILU studies would tend to suggest the latter, however this is not conclusive. For example, it is clear from many of the studies that older industrial areas provide inexpensive, flexible space for new industrial startups. One difference between the early waves of suburbanization and the present is that the business models for redeveloping and reoccupying industrial property have changed significantly. Government, nonprofit intermediaries and private developers all play much more significant roles in the redevelopment and reuse of industrial land now than they did for much of the 20th century. While much of this is driven by the complexities of brownfield redevelopment it is also true that contemporary business models have tended to Page 27
  29. 29. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 treat physical capital and especially real estate somewhat differently since the 1980’s. On the supply side, nearly all the ILU studies conducted some type of inventory or assessment of their industrial land. Among the more sophisticated studies this inventory is presented in several ways, ranging from tables and maps to spatial mapping of industry clusters (e.g. San Francisco). The level of detail also ranges from area-wide to neighborhood and even block and parcel focus. Ultimately, of the ILU studies focused on managing the supply and spatial organization of Wali Memon industrial land. In cities like Baltimore and Chicago where the overall supply of industrial land was of less concern, managing the supply often meant defining clearly which industrial areas the city would continue to support as industrial and which areas were available for conversion and mixed use redevelopment. In Prince George’s County, MD, the classification by demand categories has helped planners prioritize and allocate limited planning resources as well as target appropriate planning methods and responses based on the types of issues presented by each type of industrial area. Other cities, including San Francisco and Washington DC determined that their supply of industrial land had reached - or was rapidly approaching - minimum threshold levels. In those cities where the absolute quantity of industrial land was identified as an issue, there was typically a much more intensive focus on neighborhood and block scale issues of compatibility. San Francisco and Seattle Page 28
  30. 30. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 produced some of the best studies of specific neighborhoods and industrial districts, indicating where industrial preservation was feasible and where conversion was the best course of action. While the level of detail and participatory planning was not as high, Washington DC also produced similar critical analyses of specific industrial areas. Perhaps what distinguishes the San Francisco studies is the degree to which they integrated land use, urban form, employment and industry cluster analyses into fine-grained analysis of industrial land supply. Such an analysis allows for the Wali Memon development of broad policy recommendations for industrial preservation while at the same time acknowledging that in some areas and some situations conversion makes the most sense. The level of detail and the sophistication of the analyses allow policy to rest on a foundation of reason rather than ideology. San Diego’s approach also required detailed analysis, but it takes a different stance with respect to the roles of planning and market forces. By establishing criteria- based industrial land conversion policies, San Diego is effectively promoting the preservation of prime industrial land. However the policy allows for conversion of other industrial land based on sound planning. The published criteria allow developers to perform quick and relatively inexpensive self assessments to determine whether a specific parcel meets the criteria for conversion. If the criteria favor preservation, the developer is more likely to move on to the next potential site. If they favor conversion, the developer may then enter into discussions with Page 29
  31. 31. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 planners and more detailed planning studies with some degree of confidence that their proposal will not be rejected arbitrarily. From the standpoint of managing industrial land, the criteria may be established such that prime industrial land and core industrial areas will always fail the conversion test. Beyond that, threshold levels may be used to moderate the pace of conversion while allowing the market to make choices about specific parcels and projects. The analysis of market issues related to the demand and supply of industrial land the studies provides the basis for more detailed discussion of several planning Wali Memon issues. Current economic conditions add additional relief to that discussion. As previously mentioned, planning and zoning are interventions that constrain the land market. The basic purpose of those constraints with respect to industrial land use has historically been the limitation of the negative effects of industrial production and overcrowding on human health. Without regulations controlling industrial production of negative externalities (e.g. pollution, noise), spatial separation seemed the best way to protect residential property from the adverse affects of industry. However, given stronger environmental regulations, the changing nature of industry, and a planning ethos that embraces mixed use, how much can industrial or PDR uses be mixed with other uses? None of the studies tackled this question head on, but several of the studies wrestled with it implicitly in addressing land use conflicts and land use succession. The general answer is that the prospects for mixed use development that includes industrial remain limited. In some cases urban design techniques and buffering may mitigate land use conflicts, and San Page 30
  32. 32. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Francisco’s design guidelines provide good examples of such interventions. In other cases the nature of the industry makes it more compatible with mixed uses. R & D type uses are a good example, as are certain types of PDR uses where frequent customer interaction is critical, for example caterers or print shops. Boston’s backstreets program focuses intently on these types of PDR businesses. In general however, maintaining separate, exclusive industrial districts is important to many industrial users and non-industrial users One important issue concerns the structure of zoning ordinances with respect to Wali Memon different land uses. Many older zoning ordinances have a hierarchical or pyramid structure, with industrial land on the bottom and commercial, multifamily residential and single family residential in successively higher layers. Under this type of zoning, industrial facilities could only be built on industrial land. However, other uses could build on land zoned for their use or for any “lower” use. Many of the cities with ILU studies in this sample had this type of zoning. Given the history and hierarchical zoning structures, the notion that industrial land should be protected seems counterintuitive. Through careful and detailed analyses, the ILU studies have collectively provided sound reasons for protecting industrial land. Among the reasons for protecting industrial land, the studies found that many industrial land uses provide critical support services for both commercial and residential uses, and that close proximity was essential to timely and cost effective delivery of those services. This is the principal argument for Boston’s Backstreet’s Page 31
  33. 33. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 program. However, PDR uses face additional constraints. PDR users must often compete on the price of their products, and this constrains their ability to pay rent. In markets where there is elevated demand for housing and mixed use, the price of unprotected industrial land escalates, crowding out PDR uses. Several studies arrived at this conclusion; however Seattle’s business survey provided a look at the importance of rent levels in comparison to other location factors. The imperative for protecting industrial land thus rests on three primary First, PDR businesses provide crucial support to mixed use and residential areas. Wali Memon Second, close proximity is important to the provision of that support. Third, that PDR uses are highly sensitive to rent levels. Without protection, marginal demand for residential and mixed use development can crowd out PDR uses, negatively affecting all users. Industrial Land Use Solutions and Recommendations The findings of the ILU studies led to a variety of recommendations for planning action. Overall, the recommendations were centered on either broad policy changes or targeted area strategies. Policy recommendations were a part of almost every study. Washington DC was perhaps the most aggressive in terms of policy recommendations, but it is representative of many other studies in terms of the recommendation it made. Some studies recommended significant changes to industrial zoning classifications, Page 32
  34. 34. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 introducing restrictions on the use of industrial land for non-industrial uses. These changes were designed to provide greater protection to core PDR areas. Several studies also recommended rezoning certain parcels out of industrial where it was clear that they were better suited for mixed use. There were recommendations for better coordination between the various elements of the comprehensive plan, specifically economic development, housing and land use. The alignment of infrastructure with industrial land was also a recommendation and this frequently shows up in targeted area strategies. There is Wali Memon a significant policy component as well, since infrastructure policy is often embedded in the capital improvements plan. Also in keeping with greater coordination of plan elements were recommendations for better geospatial arrangement of uses, both PDR and non-PDR. In a few cases (e.g. Santa Clara, San Diego) the proximity of industrial uses and sensitive environmental receptor sites such as schools or nursing homes was explicitly considered. Within the recommendations for spatial alignment and coordination was the implicit notion that GIS applications were reaching a level where such sophisticated analysis was possible and affordable. Targeted Area Strategies Targeted area strategies were also frequently recommended in the studies, and the range of solutions was much greater than that of the policy recommendations. The solutions fell into four broad categories. 1) Plan – oriented efforts including overlay districts and targeted neighborhood plans; 2) Conversion – oriented strategies Page 33
  35. 35. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 including conversion criteria, impact studies and impact fees; 3) Spatial compatibility efforts including buffer zones and design criteria; and 4) Incentive efforts including site assembly, brownfield remediation and other economic development and workforce development tools and incentives. Plan oriented efforts generally involved developing detailed plans for specific neighborhoods or industrial districts. These areas were often characterized by intensive industrial use as well as use conflicts and encroachment by other Participatory planning techniques were often used and the plans were often Wali Memon developed at the block and sometimes parcel level. In some cases the planning effort led to the creation of designated overlay districts. Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle are all good examples. Conversion oriented strategies tended to be criteria-based. However, instead of engaging in a public planning process for a specific area, most of these strategies shifted the bulk of the planning responsibility to the private sector. Planning was project specific rather than general in nature. Communities that employed this strategy typically used published criteria and required developers to engage in detailed planning to justify conversion of industrial land to other uses. In some cases this included formal impact studies. In others, the process established impact fees tied to conversion, particularly when new development strained public facilities. San Diego, San Jose, Milpitas and Chicago all provide some examples. Page 34
  36. 36. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 Spatial compatibility efforts involving more direct physical planning focused on the spatial relationship between industrial facilities and surrounding uses. San Francisco’s Industrial Area Design Guidelines are a good example of this strategy. The creation of buffer zones between industrial uses and residential or mixed uses was also typical of this strategy. Many of the studies recommend the creation of buffer zones. Prince George’s County, MD and Richmond, CA are two examples. The most intensive set of strategies extended the focus from land use into realms of economic and workforce development. These strategies included site Wali Memon acquisition and assembly, demolition, brownfield remediation and other activities needed to deliver a “shovel ready” site for redevelopment. Infrastructure improvements were also used. In some places these sites received priority status under mainstream economic and workforce development programs. Pennsylvania’s Business in our Sites program is a good example. The Chicago and Baltimore studies employ these types of strategies. Specific policies and targeted area strategies must ultimately be designed around local conditions. The policies and targeted area strategies describe above are deliberately general for this reason. City references are provided so that detailed examples may be understood in their full context. While this paper necessarily includes a discussion of the different types of recommendations made in the ILU studies, the sections on methodology, issues and findings are of greater use to future Page 35
  37. 37. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 studies. The following section distills all of these elements into a composite framework for future industrial land use studies. Industrial Land Use Studies – An Annotated Composite Outline The industrial land use studies reviewed for this paper presented a wide variety of formats. The outline that follows is an attempt to extract a composite form for future ILU studies. This composite form adopts elements from multiple studies, each of which has been recognized in the body of this paper. No further attempt made here to attribute any particular section to its sources, although exemplars are Wali Memon noted in some instances7. The outline below is offered as a template to help organize the future study of industrial land and to ensure that critical issues are addressed. Experienced planners will certainly identify many improvements and are encouraged to do so. Composite Outline for Industrial Land Use Studies 1. Introduction and Purpose 7 Many of the referenced ILU studies are available through the Center for Community Innovation, UC Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development website ( Their initiative in creating and maintaining this valuable resource is gratefully acknowledged. Page 36
  38. 38. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 While it may seem obvious, the best studies had a clearly articulated purpose. Conversely, those studies that lacked a clearly articulated purpose tended to wander aimlessly through data and analyses that seemed important but generally did not lead to specific conclusions. After clearly stating the purpose for the study, the introduction should guide the reader through the overall structure of the study, keeping in mind that many readers may not be planners. With this in mind, emphasizing the Background section as a resource to help non-planners become familiar with the subject matter may be Wali Memon 2. Background a. General The proliferation of web-based publishing means that topical studies like industrial land use are likely to be read by a much broader audience. Many readers, including elected officials, may not have a planning background. Therefore, including a brief section on general background with appropriate references will help frame the study, especially for non- planners. Three possible topics are listed below. These brief primers tell the reader why they are focusing on industrial land, how it fits into the overall scheme of things, and what factors drive industrial location. For the first two, the City of San Francisco’s 2001 study, Industrial Land in San Francisco: Understanding Production, Distribution and Repair offers an excellent example. Chapman & Walker (1987) offers a good basic overview Page 37
  39. 39. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 of industrial location, which may be augmented by other sources in the bibliography. i. Why industrial land matters ii. PDR and balance in the land use system iii. Basics of industrial location b. Local / Local history and physical characteristics are often critical to Wali Memon understanding industrial land use patterns. Yet these are often overlooked, especially when there are reams of data to analyze. Including brief sections on history, geography and geology will accomplish three goals. First, it will educate and orient many readers. Second, it frames the analysis and recommendations in historical context. Thus for politicians who must make decisions based on the information presented, the deliberation moves out of the abstractions of zoning and into the realm of history and legacy. Third, it may identify important factors that may be hidden under the data. Lewis, 2004 and Hanna, 1996 are useful examples. An additional section on workforce demographics is included here. This information is included here because it helps establish the broad context for the study. Including it here also allows the analysis in section 4b to proceed quickly without getting bogged down in the presentation of general data. Page 38
  40. 40. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 i. Local geography and geology ii. Local industrial history iii. Workforce demographics 3. Industrial land supply The presentation of industrial land supply needs to accomplish three things. First, it must convey both quantitative and qualitative information about the overall supply of industrial land. Total number of acres, development status, acres, parcel statistics, etc. are just some of the measures. Second, this section must Wali Memon describe the spatial organization of industrial land in the overall context. This is best achieved with maps, supplemented by text, charts, images and tabular data. Third, this section must provide some sense of the dynamics of industrial land use over some useful time frame. Specific trends and areas should be highlighted. Good examples for organizing and presenting information on industrial land supply include studies from San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. a. Inventory and characteristics b. Spatial organization i. Overall land use context ii. Zoning iii. Relationship to infrastructure Page 39
  41. 41. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 c. Spatial patterns i. Vacancy / intensity of use ii. Areas of friction with other uses iii. Rents iv. Areas of recent change v. Growth in other uses that may affect industrial land 4. Industrial land Industrial land is characterized not only by the physical, spatial and legal Wali Memon characteristics described in the previous section, but also by the activities that take place there. There are five topics of interest within this discussion of industrial activity. The first topic considers the characteristics of different PDR industries and the issues / perspectives of business owners. The second topic focuses on the workforce and the employment generated by PDR industries. The third topic examines both industries and employees from a spatial perspective. This may reveal certain agglomerations of businesses or employment, with important implications for infrastructure and plan coordination efforts. The fourth topic examines the economic impact of PDR uses from multiple perspectives. This analysis often produces the economic argument for or against a particular course of action. Finally, based on the previous four topics, the fifth topic explores the potential for PDR growth based on economic and workforce factors. It then identifies potential land use issues related to such growth. Page 40
  42. 42. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 a. PDR industries i. Characteristics ii. Business owner issues & perspectives iii. Economic development needs / issues b. PDR employment i. Employment characteristics ii. Journey to work iii. Workforce development needs / issues Wali Memon c. Spatial organization and clustering i. Industry clusters ii. Employment clusters iii. Relationship to infrastructure iv. Compatibility issues d. Economic impact i. PDR sales ii. Tax revenue iii. Wages iv. Buyer-supplier impacts & related industries e. Prospects for growth Page 41
  43. 43. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 i. Projected losses ii. Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) iii. Business Attraction iv. Land use and economic development issues 5. Demand for industrial land Building on the previous section, this section examines the overall demand for industrial land from both PDR and non-PDR uses. It translates the analysis Section 4 into estimates of future land need by PDR uses, and targets those needs, Wali Memon to the extent possible, in specific PDR areas. This section also examines specific pressures for conversion of industrial land by non-PDR uses. This section seeks to quantify the general trends identified in Section 3, targeting these pressures to specific industrial areas. The end result is both an overall projection of demand for industrial land from both PDR and non-PDR uses, along with the spatial organization of that demand. Good examples of this type of analysis include San Francisco and Washington DC. a. Current and future PDR demand b. Demand from competing uses 6. Industrial land use analysis – supply and demand Page 42
  44. 44. An Evaluation of Recent Industrial Land Use Studies 2009 This section matches supply and demand findings from sections 3 and 5, and sorts through the conflicts. Coordination with other planning elements is helpful in making specific choices and develop specific recommendations. The end results of this process include specific targeting of industrial areas for protection, growth or conversion. Each recommendation should be accompanied by a rationale. a. Coordination of planning b. Targeted growth areas Wali Memon c. Targeted protection areas d. Targeted conversion areas 7. Policy recommendations Finally, the study should conclude with specific policy recommendations related to planning process. Page 43